Prashanth Techno who composed music for the movie Sutta Kathai talks to T. Saravanan about his foray into the field

It all happened so fast for Prashanth Techno and Harish Venkat of Madley Blues. With their refreshing music in Sutta Kathai, they have grabbed the attention of the people.

But what is Madley Blues? “There is a subway by that name near T. Nagar Bus Stop in Chennai where I stayed. Harish is good friend of mine. We composed a song on Madley subway. It never got released but we retained the name and added Blues to it,” chuckles Prashanth. There is a third member in the band,Navneeth Balachanderan, a 19-year-old audio engineer from Chennai, who fully involves himself in pre-and post-production.

After learning the basics of keyboard, Prashanth participated in several competitions in school. Representing TVS Lakshmi Matriculation Higher Secondary School, he composed background score for a drama for an international competition in Lucknow. “The experience motivated me and I started to take music seriously. I became a regular in school band. During summer vacations I started experimenting with my own music. I learnt music on my own and from friends as well,” says Prashanth.

He attributes his music learning to social media. He happened to meet Harish at a competition for rock bands for the television reality show ‘Oolalalah…’, where he went as a part of Tech Music band of PSG Tech, Coimbatore. “Lot of participants of that show are now big names in music including Anirudh and Ved Shankar (Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom),” he says.

With little scope for growth in Madurai, Prashanth moved to Chennai, where he again met Harish, who as the co- founder of Oxygen fusion band gave him a chance to perform for the band. Prashanth credits Harish for his success, who is trained in Indian Classical Music. “He has performed a lot of concerts as a keyboardist, Pianica artist. Harish is also a vocalist and has sung quite a few tracks for Madley Blues apart from being a composer and a lyricist,” says Prashanth.

Similar interests brought them together and they released two singles ‘Megam Ondru Vaanil’ and ‘Katrodu Pesadha Vaarthaigal’ sung by Dharshana of ‘Maduraikku Pogathadi’ fame. “The songs became very popular and were played by FM stations. ‘Megam Ondru Vaanil’ is about a robot falling in love. The poster design for the song was done by Subbu, the director of Sutta Kathai. He used to visit our recording room. It all happened when Subbu listened to a song we were trying out and immediately wanted that song for his movie and ‘Kattukulla Kannamoochi’ became the title track of the movie.”

The sudden shifts in the song attracted Subbu as it matched the tagline for Sutta Kathai ‘Twist mela Twist’. “When you play a video game there will be different levels. Similarly there are different levels in the song and it keeps the listener guessing,” Prashanth explains.

He also hears a lot of world music, country, blues, Irish and European music. The influence of European music is quite obvious in the movie. “The ‘Ele… Ele…’ song in the movie was bluegrass style of music with full use of banjo and violin.”

As the director wanted live band sound for the movie, Madley Blues saw to it. “We took the core emotion of the situation and presented it in our own way. We did not stick to any formula. We captured the mysticism in the script and focussed on it,” he says.

Prashanth has also done background score for a Malayalam movie Up and Down by ‘Chanakyan’ movie fame Rajeev Kumar T.K. He has done several projects as a programmer and arranger. He has worked with singer Srinivas for the Kishore Kumar tribute album. He has programmed a song for Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom and has also worked in Neerparavai and Sundarapandian.

Formed primarily to create, collaborate and make music easy to listen, the main aim of Madley Blues is to combine the best of every aspect of music. “We wish to distill the best of all traditional forms of music and collaborate with most gifted musicians from all over the world,” says Prashanth.